chicken & cheese enchiladas with cilantro-lime crema
Mexican food has master delicious stuffed food--from overloaded super burritos, chile rellenos, stacked tortas to my favorite, enchiladas! Enchiladas are the ultimate comfort food! Saucy, cheesy, spicy, and savory! And a one dish dinner! What’s not to like?!
This enchilada recipe is meant to be bright, seasoned, and balanced! To be honest, I’ll eat any enchilada, but I prefer red sauce. So in the filling, I also like to use a red salsa. I used Heidi’s Medium Salsa! I actually met Heidi herself at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco and was able to taste her jarred salsas. Awesome flavor, even heat, great texture/chunkiness, and super vibrant for a jarred salsa. She actually uses lemon and lime in it to make the jarred salsa taste super fresh and bright. Definitely my favorite salsa on the market right now and I love the skull packaging! (This post is not sponsored.)
Heidi’s salsa worked perfectly in this recipe, but you can use your favorite salsa in the filling. Do not be intimidated by the setup--it’s very easy and fun! And definitely make the crema, you will not be dissapointed! Happy enchilada rolling!
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Red Chicken & Cheese Enchiladas with Cilantro-Lime Crema
12 corn tortillas
2 cups shredded chicken. *Rotisserie or leftover chicken is awesome!
2 cups of shredded cheese + some to top--mozzarella, jack, cheddar, or blend
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped + some for garnish
1 large can of red enchilada sauce
1 ½ cups of your favorite salsa. We used Heidi’s Salsa!
Salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, garlic powder.
Large baking dish, or a few small baking dishes
Blender/ magic bullet/ vitamix
Active: 20 min. Inactive (baking): 25 min
1. Grease the pan with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 375F.
2. Prepare enchilada filling. Mix chicken, cheese, chopped cilantro, salsa, and a dash of each spice listed. Stir until even.
3. Prep your station! See graphic below. Warm the tortillas in two sets of six in the microwave by wrapping them in a damp paper towel and microwaving for ~40 seconds or until steamy. Pour enchilada sauce into a shallow bowl or dish. Put out a place as a rolling station. And line everything up.
4. Remove a steamy tortilla, dunk it in the enchilada sauce so that both sides of the tortilla are covered, place two spoonfuls of filling on the tortilla, gently roll, and then place in baking dish. Repeat until the dish is full. Note: I am a Baby with a capital B when it comes to making these and I usually wear disposable gloves so my hands don’t turn red. Up to you.
5. Sprinkle cheese on top of enchiladas and bake for 25 minutes or until cheese on top is golden brown and the center is warm. While the enchiladas are cooking, prepare the cilantro-lime crema (recipe below). Serve enchiladas with crema and top with chopped cilantro.
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Juice from half a medium lime
1 cup of sour cream
1 handful of cilantro (stems and leaves) = ½ cup packed
Salt & pepper to taste
Put all ingredients into blender or magic bullet and blend until the cilantro is totally incorporated. This crema can also be used as salad dressing!
Tips & Notes:
- The tortillas need to be steaming. If they are not warm enough, they will crack quickly when rolled or placed in the baking dish.
- This is a great dish that can be made ahead of time! Note that you may need to add extra enchilada sauce because the tortillas will soak up more sauce the longer they sit and you do not want them to dry out in the oven! If enchiladas are coming out of the refrigerator, they will take ~40 minutes to cook. Cook covered for 30 minutes, 10 minutes uncovered.
- These are also great for making single servings and freezing extras.